Today’s Gift Prompts Yesterday’s Memories

Written By Galen White

What is the foremost question on everyone’s lips today? Is it about healthcare? Terrorists? Weather? Of course not. It’s “what did Santa bring you for Christmas?”

Now, I don’t want to seem so wrapped up in possessions that you believe I’ve forgotten the real “reason for the season”, but I am rather proud of one particular gift. However, please don’t take this as diminishing the importance or value of other gifts received. This just happens to be one of those gifts that not everyone can give.

I carefully took this particular gift and placed it on the dining table in front of me, and then sat and gazed lovingly at it for quite some time. Soon, crystal-clear memories of a freckled faced lad of about eight years old took over. It was a cold, frosty morning as I watched my mom pull a pan of hot, fresh-baked “cat head” biscuits from the oven and place them on our dinner table; a table which was handmade by my dad. Now, I call it a dinner table rather than a dining table ’cause in those days, dinner was at noon; supper came in the evening hours and we didn’t know what lunch was.

Anyway, a plate of homemade butter – yes, made in a churn and wooden mold – sat close by, seemingly beggin’ for me to shove a healthy glob inside one of those steamin’ hot biscuits. It didn’t have to beg very much!

My memory then went outside to a warmer day; one in which the birds were busy and bees were aflitterin’ …., well, maybe it was the bees were busy and the birds were aflitterin’, but again, the vision was crystal clear. Birds, wasps, bees, and other “varmints” were after the fruit borne by the bush. Some may call it a tree, but it wasn’t like an oak or pine; this tree spread out from the ground up and didn’t seem to have a trunk. It was almost like it was nothin; but limbs, leaves, and fruit.

I remember the leaves were covered by a fuzz that scratched and stung my arms. But I also agreed with the varmints; the fruit borne by this bush was well worth any discomfort in harvesting the tasty treats.

Something broke my concentration and I was again back at my dining table, gazing…., well, droolin’ at this unique gift. By now you may have guessed my adoration was directed toward a jar of fig preserves, I’ve told you before how much I love ’em, and can honestly say my love has not diminished one iota over the years. In fact, it may have grown substantially.

Again this year, my friend Jack brought me a gift of scuppernong, blueberry, and “musky dime” jam, along with the above mentioned jar of fig preserves, that he and his wife had created! Each and every morsel of sweetness I received will be savored with an appreciation only understood by a true connoisseur of fine taste! And even if you take it as braggin’, I fully believe my tastes taste tastier’n anyone else’s tastes!

You know, one of the things that makes such a treat so much more enjoyable, is having friends who do things like this for you. Makes me wonder what I ever did to deserve such friendship. Whatever it was, I sure as heck hope Jack and his wife never forget!

So to all my friends and family, thank you for the sweets, sausage balls, peanut brittle, and gifts. They all made a wonderful Christmas for me.

Since it is now the year 2010, I will tell you of my one and only New Year’s Resolution. And that is, not to have any New Year’s Resolutions I can’t keep!

Happy New Year, folks!



Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.





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